The province of East Kalimantan, which has a capital city in Samarinda, has tourism potential that is no less amazing than other provinces in Indonesia. This province is directly adjacent to Malaysia, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan and Sulawesi with a total area of 245,238 km². To the east of East Kalimantan Province, the Makassar Strait stretches directly which separates the islands of Kalimantan and Sulawesi islands.
East Kalimantan tourism has a lot of flora and fauna, there are around 1000-189,000 types of plants and animals that can be found in this area. The forests on the island of Borneo, including the province of East Kalimantan, have even become the lungs of the world thanks to the vast area and thick vegetation that grows there.
- The Charm of East Kalimantan Tourism
As an area known for the second largest oil and wood production in Indonesia, there are also many tourist charms ranging from nature to the sea that can be found in East Kalimantan. Like the interesting tourist attractions in Banjarmasin, South Kalimantan, East Kalimantan also has many other tourist charms that are no less beautiful. Here is a list of tourist attractions in East Kalimantan:
2. Japanese Lake
Lake Jempang is located in West Kutai Regency. This lake is the largest lake among 76 other lakes located along the banks of the Mahakam River channel. The depth of this lake reaches 7-8 meters with a variety of rich flora and fauna that grow around the lake. This tourist attraction has become one of the proud attractions of the people of East Kalimantan thanks to its unique natural phenomena. Every 5 years, Lake Jempang will dry up until it looks like a desert. Completely dry not a drop of water. No wonder many local and foreign tourists are curious about the natural phenomenon of this lake and flock to see it.
To go to this lake, tourists can use a ketinting boat, which is a traditional local community boat, or a speedboat. Along the way to the lake, tourists will pass villages on the banks of the Mahakam River, each of which adheres to local wisdom through the reflection of traditional houses and daily customary behavior.
3. Wall Stone
Batu Wall is a cluster of white limestone that towers over the Mahakam Ulu River. The length of this stone wall ranges from more than 800 meters with a height between 100-200 meters. This stone wall looks solid like a giant wall and is often used as a spot to take unique and interesting pictures. The location of this stone wall is in Kutai Kartanegara Regency. To get there, tourists can depart from Balikpapan along the highway to Samarinda.
Along the way to Batu Wall, tourists will be spoiled with the beauty of the natural scenery that is very beautiful and beautiful with lush forests, wild orchid plants along the road, and settlements of traditional houses inhabited by indigenous people of Borneo along the coast of the Mahakam river.
Green Valley Recreation Park
The location of this Green Valley Recreation Park is in the provincial capital, namely Samarinda, precisely next to the Unmul Samarinda Botanical Garden. This park is a natural tourist attraction that has many attractions to attract visitors such as a replica forest complete with various types of wood typical of the Kalimantan forest, namely rattan, fishing pond, pavilion, and cafeteria that can be used to relax and unwind after touring the park. This park also has a camping ground arena where tourists can camp here complete with camping equipment rental places and all the equipment.
Outbound facilities and rides for games such as flying fox, waterboom, and climbing nets are also available. The entrance ticket to this park is IDR 5,000 / person and if you want to enjoy the outbound facilities, tourists are charged IDR 180,000 / person.
4. Bingkirai Hill Tourism Area
Bukit Bingkirai officially started operating in 1998 and is a natural tropical rain forest tour managed by PT. Inhutani I Industrial Plantation Forest Management Unit (UMHTI). It is located near Samboja District, Kutai Kartanegara Regency or about 58 km from the city of Balikpapan. This area has an area of 1,500 hectares, tourists can enjoy the cool tropical rain forest that is lush and fresh with a stretch of green scenery that is soothing to the eyes. There is vegetation of wild forest orchids, tropical fruits, and bangkirai trees with an age of more than 150 years and a height of 50 meters which are the mascots of East Kalimantan.
Bangkirai Hill has an attraction with the existence of a bridge called the Tajuk Bridge which stretches for 64 meters above a height of 30 meters. This canopy bridge connects 5 large bangkirai trees and was made by an architect from the United States in his home country. This canopy bridge is the first in Indonesia, second in Asia and eighth in the world. Wow, that’s really amazing isn’t it. To be able to go up and walk across this bridge, tourists are charged Rp. 15,000 for local tourists, Rp. 30,000 for foreign tourists. From this bridge, tourists can see the beauty of the Dipterocarpaceae Canopy formation which is a feature of beautiful and interconnected tropical rain forests.
5. Losan Cave
Losan Cave is a unique tourist attraction that can only be found in East Kalimantan. Goa Losan, which in the local language means a translucent cave, is located on the axis of the East Kalimantan – South Kalimantan causeway, precisely in Muara Komam District. Entering this cave is like diving in the bowels of the earth that holds treasures in the form of natural stone jewelry with unique, strange and amazing shapes. Tourists can enter this cave, but must be guided by a caretaker or trained officer from the local Tourism Office. The only light in the cave is a flashlight or torch. This minimal lighting actually adds to the sensation of a unique and tense adventure in this cave. Inside the cave, there is a water source, a row of natural stones which when struck can produce a regular sound similar to a musical instrument, so they are called pitched stones, swallow’s nests, and mummy stones.
This cave is very wide and winding so that if tourists are desperate to explore this cave completely, the time needed is not half-hearted, which is 10 days! The price of admission to this cave is very cheap, only Rp. 5,000/person. It is said that in the cave there are passages from one place to another in the form of fairly wide porches.
6. Liang Mangkulangit
Liang Mangkulangit is a tourist attraction located in Paser Regency. Liang Mangkulangit or also known as Goa Lifting the Sky is a rock mountain whose function is to become a tap wall for the Kandilau River. The splendor of the rock walls and high cliffs is really eye-catching, especially since this area is still natural so that the forest area is inhabited by wild animals and beautiful tropical trees. The rocks along Liang Mangkulangit are overgrown with green moss with natural decorations of water droplets that fall between the rocks, giving rise to an amazing exotic view.
To get to this area, it takes 5 hours from Balikpapan City. Visitors can reach this area by renting a motor boat that goes upstream to the river where this burrow is located, with a travel time of approximately 10 minutes.
7. Samboja Lodge
Want to feel the new sensation of staying in the middle of the forest in a typical building of the Dayak tribe, which is a native of the island of Borneo? Don’t miss your visit to this Samboja Lodge. Samboja Lodge is an exclusive lodging area located in the Kutai Kartanegara area and right in the middle of the tropical rain forest of Borneo. The design of this inn has a wooden architecture with carvings typical of the Dayak tribe and directly faces the forest view. The sensation felt by guests is truly extraordinary. When else can you stay in the middle of the famous Borneo forest while accompanied by the sounds of forest animals?
This inn is part of the Samboja Lestari conservation forest area managed by the Borneo Orangutan Survival Foundation (BOS). This accommodation is equipped with a restaurant, room service, parking, bar or lounge designed for the convenience of visitors. Activities that can be done here are enjoying the natural atmosphere of the quiet forest and interacting directly with orangutans and sun bears in the conservation area.
8. Jantur Inar
Jantur Inar is a waterfall that has a height of about 30 meters with a natural panorama of moss clinging to the rocks and trees around the waterfall. It is located in West Kutai Regency. It is said that the origin of the name Jantur Inar comes from a princess from Kalimantan who suddenly disappeared into a spirit and became the guardian of this waterfall area. Jantur Inar has a unique and magical attraction, that is, any tourist who plays under the waterfall will be exposed to the shadow of a rainbow that radiates out of this waterfall.
Access to the Jantur Inar waterfall can be reached by four and two-wheeled vehicles about 30 km from the city center of Sendawar. To be able to enjoy playing waterfalls to the bottom, tourists must pass 200 stairs provided by the manager.
9. Melawai Beach
Melawai Beach in Balikpapan is one of the most famous beaches in East Kalimantan. The beauty of this beach is most prominent at sunset where the view of the sky horizon is very clear and sloping without being blocked by hills or anything and occasionally accompanied by passing fishing boats. In addition to enjoying the beautiful sunset panorama, tourists can also see a small island across from the beach called Babi Island because there are many sea urchins on the island. If the sea water is receding, tourists can walk to Pig Island from the beach because the location is not far.
This beach faces directly to the Makassar Strait and is a central area for food and drink vendors, so the atmosphere remains busy even at night. The location of this beach is in the center of Balikpapan city so it can be easily reached by public transport vehicles or private vehicles.
10. Wet Rice Island
Pulau Beras Basah is a small island on the side of the Makassar Strait and is located in Bontang City. This tourist attraction is visited by tourists from foreign and domestic countries to enjoy the beautiful underwater panorama by diving. To be able to reach this island, tourists can rent a fishing boat at the pier in the Bontang Kuala area to go to Beras Basah Island which is located about 40 minutes away by boat or can also rent a typical Kalimantan kelotok boat if you want to feel the sensation of riding a traditional boat. from the pier. The sea water on this island is so clear and clean with a wealth of diverse marine life at the bottom. Similar to the coastal waters in Nusa Penida Bali tourism.
Not surprisingly, diving tourism is the mainstay of this island and is loved by tourists who come from various regions in Indonesia and abroad. The diversity of marine life on this island is indeed very beautiful and visitors who cannot dive can still enjoy the underwater panorama by snorkeling.
11. Kakaban Island ( Jellyfish Lake )
This is a tourist attraction that is probably the most famous throughout Kalimantan and visited by many foreign tourists, namely Kakaban Island. This island is located in the Derawan archipelago, Berau Regency which is an archipelago that is famous for the beauty and richness of marine life and stunning underwater panorama views. Derawan’s popularity almost beats Raja Ampat tourism, which is also perched as a favorite marine tourism object in Indonesia with its extraordinary underwater wealth. Kakaban Island is very green and has the privilege of being one of the two islands in the world that has a jellyfish lake. Yes, that’s why this island is very famous and has become a lot of world tourists who are crazy about marine tourism and researchers to research the marine life that is here.
Jellyfish Lake is the island’s main attraction. The lake contains a mixture of rainwater and seawater seepage from soil pores which forms an endemic habitat for jellyfish. There are 4 types of jellyfish in this lake, namely Mastigias Papua, Casiopea, Aurelia, and Golden Jellyfish. Tourists can enjoy diving or snorkeling in this lake for only Rp. 20,000. Don’t be afraid to be stung by jellyfish because what’s special is that the jellyfish in this lake are not deadly and their sting power is very fresh. The marine waters of Kakaban Island are also rich in various marine biota such as barracuda fish, white tip, hammer shark, clowns, and various rows of very beautiful coral reefs.
12. Margomulyo Mangrove Forest
Margomulyo Mangrove Forest is a forest conservation area that functions as an abrasion prevention area which is also managed as a tourist attraction. In this forest, visitors can see a panoramic view of the natural beauty of the mangrove forest which is very charming. This tourist spot also has a reconnaissance tower that can be used to watch various kinds of birds that fly and perch on the shoreline area.
When you come in the morning, tourists can see proboscis monkeys perched on mangrove trees. Rows of lush and green trees make the mind feel at peace and the eyes are cooled by the reassuring sight. Tourists can take a walk around the forest by walking along the wooden bridges that surround this forest. The location of this mangrove forest is in the city of Balikpapan and can be reached for 20 minutes from the city center.
13. Labuan Cermin Lake
Another natural tourism wonder in East Kalimantan that is worth a visit, Labuan Cermin Lake. This lake is an underwater paradise located in Labuan Kelambu, Berau Regency. The lake water is very clear and has a feature that the top of the lake is fresh water and the bottom is salt water. Miraculously, these two types of water do not mix and it can be seen that the two types of water are separated by a thin layer like a cloud. The two types of water in this lake also present the life of different organisms, namely freshwater fish that live on the surface and seawater fish that live at the bottom of the lake.
This tiny lake is surrounded by forests and towering cliffs on one side. No wonder this lake is called Labuan Cermin because the water is very clear so people can reflect on it. This lake is quite far from the center of Berau Regency, which is 6-7 hours by land vehicle or you can use a traditional fishing canoe by penetrating the mangrove bushes and thick jungle inland Kalimantan.
That’s a series of tourist attractions in East Kalimantan with all the charm of beauty and unique panorama. Hopefully useful when you are planning a vacation to East Kalimantan. Happy holidays.